Executive Director remarks at the launch of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative regional programme on Femicide in Latin America

Closing Remarks by Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, at the high-level launch of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative regional programme on Femicide in Latin America


[As delivered]

Thank you for sharing your inspiring stories, discussions and performances today. On behalf of UN Women and my Spotlight sister agencies, UNDP and UNFPA, I affirm our joint commitment to ending femicide in Latin America by 2030. And I thank the civil society individuals who are making this work possible.

Although today we are launching programmes that are new, we are already grounded in strong collaborative solutions for eliminating violence against women and girls. These agencies all work together.

I am pleased to share with you some of the examples of the work that we do individually as well as together with other sister agencies.

In Central America, UNDP works with the Ministries of Health, Justice and Security as well as statistics offices to strengthen their capacities to measure and report sexual and gender-based violence. This guarantees that the implementation of National Action Plans to combat violence against women is evidence-based and that there is an understanding of how women and girls experience violence throughout their lives.

UNDP also works with municipalities in countries like Peru to design community-based plans against violence and femicide that engage women’s organizations and networks. This is just part of the work that UNDP does.

UN Women has worked with regional parties in Latin America and the Caribbean on the development of a Model Law on Femicide. It addresses widespread impunity and integrates the Femicide Protocol for prosecution. This model law has already been adopted in Brazil and Argentina. In Mexico, UN Women, INMUJERES and other ministries have led innovation on measuring violence against women through the National Survey on the Dynamics of Relationships in Households in 2016. This provides precise data on when and what forms of violence women and girls have suffered throughout their lives.

In Guatemala, UNFPA in collaboration with UN sister agencies, has been rolling out the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence—the gold standard for responding to violence against women. This initiative has strengthened the capacity of government bodies that have incorporated these global standards into their work. The standards are also part of training plans for the School of Judicial Studies, the National Police Academy and the Ministry of Public Health.

And of course, we all also collaborate with other agencies of the UN.

I want to affirm the fact that we are ready, willing, able and keen to move on with this work, as these agencies. We hope that these programmes will just be a start. Through the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, we will continue to work with our partners in government, civil society and across the UN system to ensure that we deliver high-quality programmes that protect and empower women and girls.

We urge you to share this information using the hashtag #SpotlightEndViolence, from today and always. And as we move towards the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-based Violence, please also use the hashtag #HearMeToo. Both of these hashtags will serve to tell the story of the work we are doing. Thank you.